November 19 again.
Anymore, on November 18th I go to bed knowing the next day is going to be different from the others.
This time I woke up, checked FB on the phone as I laid in bed and thought, well, at least he didn't live to see just how batshit crazy his oldest daughter has become.
After twelve years I can laugh about things my dad is missing being dead.
The thing about death-iversaries is that they are so absolute that you can prepare for them.
What you cannot prepare for is the conversation with the Ssgt about her mom dying not even three months ago. You can't prepare for the surge of rage you feel when she tells you about the absentee dad who tells her she should be past it now, it's been three months.
You also cannot prepare to feel the loss anew as you explain to her that nobody but no-fucking-body can tell her how to grieve. And sure as shit, nobody can tell her when it stops hurting because it never does. It just changes. Slowly.
And one day that thing that made you cry, that song, that smell, that photo, that whatever, might suddenly make you smile. Maybe even laugh. That is all part of the grieving journey.
We both started to cry a little and we both instinctively knew we were safe. This other member of the club made it so.
This past year alone my best friend has joined the club. So have at least three other friends.
To them I say this: welcome to the club. Tell me about your dad, your mom, your uncle/aunt/grandparent who raised you.
And make no mistake, if you had a shit bio-parent and were fortunate enough to have your own Uncle Charlie it matters every bit as much. Anyone tries to make you feel like it is somehow less than losing a parent you send them to me and I will put a foot in their ass.
As I write this I am not sad. I am acutely aware of what happened 12 years ago today.
My dad woke up alive.
At the end of the day, he was not.
I had my phone turned off because I was watching the Chargers.
The next morning I had a full vmailbox so I called that same crazy sister and heard those words.
Those words we all know we are going to hear at some point in our life but, we live our lives as if they'll never come.
We pretend we can shoot that text, make that call, give that hug the next time we see them.
We forget that we are going to get that call one day.
Then it comes and for the rest of your life there are moments that will remind you, I wish I had done... but you didn't because you got that call before you could.
Okay, that last part was a bit of a tangent.
I need coffee.
Have a day.